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August 03, 2009 - Image 12

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2009-08-03

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101

Monday, August 3, 2009
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

The longest summer of all time

By KAVI PANDEY
Daily Arts Writer
One of the smash hits of the 2009 Sun-
dance Film Festival, "(500) Days of Sum-
mer," has finally made its long-awaited
release into cinemas nationwide. The film
follows greeting-card company employ-
ee Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt,
"Brick") and his relationship with the
girl of his dreams, Summer Finn (Zooey
Deschanel, "Yes Man"), to understand why
it failed.
As a decidedly unconventional roman-
tic comedy, it may seem unusual for "(500)
days" to be released among the season's
typical popcorn movies. But in an inter-
view with The Daily, the two stars of the
film affirmed that this was the perfect time
to release the film.
"This is at heart a very entertaining film
... if you're looking for something a little bit
more lighthearted," Deschanel said.
Gordon-Levitt added, "It's a really good
summer movie ... a few less timpani drums

and blood, and more Joy Division and kiss-
ing. What summer blockbuster has Joy
Division and kissing?"
Gordon-Levitt explained how easy it
was to work with fellow independent-film
mainstay Zooey Deschanel.
"I was really just playing a guy whose
modus operandi was 'I'm madly in love
with this girl,' and she's easy to play madly
in love with," said Gordon-Levitt.
"I kind of just focused on her, listened to
She & Him in the morning ... it was easy,"
he added.
Brief segments of the trailer hint at some
"larger-than-life" elements, like a cartoon
bird and an elaborate dance sequence.
But, as the actors explained, they were all
incorporated for a specific and admirable
purpose.
"It all comes from a sincere point of view,"
Gordon-Levitt said. "Even the most surreal
parts, like the dance number. It's because ...
I know how it feels when you got to finally
be with the girl you've had a crush on for so
long, and it feels like that."

While many of today's romantic com-
edies brazenly try to be "quirky" and "dif-
ferent," "(500) Days of Summer" isn't afraid
to accept some of the conventions of its
genre.
Gordon-Levitt:
'(Deschanel) is easy
to play
madly in love with.'
"I think (the film) doesn't so much avoid
clichas - it walks right up to them and has
a conversation with them," said Gordon-
Levitt. "It follows some and deviates from
other ones and that's what I like about it.
With avoiding cliches, then you just start
becoming obscure."

"Also, if your goal is to not be something,
that's not a goal that's too amorphous,"
Deschanel added. "My only goal is to not be
this ... well you're already not that. If you
aim for something - something actual -
then you're not thinking about what you
are not."
Both Deschanel and Gordon-Levitt shied
away from giving their own interpretations
of the film.
"I don't really like to tell people what
they should take away because I like to
go see a movie and be allowed to feel,"
Deschanel said. "It's a sacred relationship
the audience has with the artist."
"It's best to do my part and then hand it
over to those that are going to experience
it because it's a very personal experience,"
she added.
"I think it's a more 20th-century attitude
that watching a movie is 'I am an audience
member' and it's a passive thing," Gordon-
Levitt added. "I think that watching a
movie can be and ought to be a creative act.
You come up with what it means."

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